May 12, 2017 Media Release
BROCKVILLE – The 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail is entering its third year and adds Fulford Place National Historic Site to its line-up. The Garden Trail links private and public gardens and garden centre displays throughout Leeds Grenville. This year, Fulford Place National Historic Site and its Olmsted Gardens have officially become part of trail.
Originally designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Olmsted, the Italianate-style gardens include an elaborate triton fountain and statuary with stone walls and gates surrounding the 20,000 square-foot mansion. Self-guided tour pamphlets will be available at the visitor entrance during hours of operation. Olmstead’s fame is connected to the design of Central Park in New York City. Restoration of the Fulford gardens was one of the Ontario Heritage Trust's most exciting heritage garden conservancy projects.
The launch highlighted the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail as the only trail in the country to be honoured with the ‘Canada 150 Garden Experience’ Designation. Awarded in March from the Canadian Garden Council in collaboration with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, it recognized the trail’s garden experience as an activity of choice for garden lovers from near and far. “The designation speaks to the calibre of the trail and quality of the gardens,” says Robin Jones, Warden of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.
The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office launched the trail in 2015 with 9 gardens that has now grown to 14 unique gardens with added experiences including native butterflies, honeybees and birds, a monarch butterfly Way Station, fountains, ponds, contemporary art exhibits, statuary and so much more.
David Cybulski, Co-Chair of the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail and owner of Maitland Garden of Hope, says “the vision for the Trail was simple - to be recognized as a must- see garden tourism destination, to highlight the natural beauty of flora and fauna, and our historic sites with our world-renowned landscapes of the Rideau Canal, Frontenac Arch Biosphere, 1000 Islands and the St. Lawrence River. I believe we are well on our way to accomplishing this.”
“The Garden Trail is a perfect example of collaboration between public and private gardens and the Counties Economic Development Office,” says Warden Jones.
The Trail continues to capture national media attention that has resulted in attracting visitors from around the world and travel writers who have continued to promote the gardens in the region.
“Garden Tourism has a direct economic impact,” says Ann Weir, Leeds Grenville Economic Development Manager and Co-Chair of the Trail. “The Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa also launches today, based on previous attendance it is anticipated over 600,000 visitors will add $80 million into the city’s economy. As they celebrate their 65th Anniversary, the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal, in its third year, can be proud of its grassroots development. We can directly track group visitor spending to accommodations, restaurants and many of the area attractions with their primary purpose of the visit being the Garden Trail,” says Weir.
The trail kicks off the season in May with a colourful display of daffodils at Diane & Keith Haskins’ garden in Portland. Rideau Woodland Ramble garden centre and Healing Circle Labyrinth are also open with other sites opening in June and continuing to October.
Members of the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail include:
- Diane & Keith Haskins, Portland
- Gardens of Gananoque, Gananoque
- Wilstead Manor Gardens, Leeds and the Thousand Islands
- Ivy Lea Club, Lansdowne
- Chillane Gardens, Mallorytown
- Garden of Hope and Faith Walk, Lyn
- Fulford Place, Brockville
- Maitland Garden of Hope, Maitland
- Van Berlo Gardens, Maitland
- Shakespeare’s Gardens, Prescott
- Healing Circle Labyrinth, Johnstown
- Machal Gardens, Spencerville
- A Labour of Love, Oxford Station
- Rideau Woodland Ramble*, North Grenville
* Canadian Garden Council 2015 Destination Garden Centre of the Year and Canada 150 Garden Experience
Both guided and self-guided tours are available. For garden hours and contact information, visit the website at www.gardentrail.1000islandsandrideaucanal.com. Garden trail brochures are available at each site as well as various tourism centres throughout the region.